Every year, the Media Research Center invites a distinguished panel of expert judges to sift through the dopiest, wackiest quotes of the year, and every year it seems the honor roll of idiocy gets longer and longer.
This year, top honors in the MRC's "Audacity of Dopes Award for the Wackiest Analysis of the Year" went to the Boston Globe Magazine's Charles Pierce, for a January 10 column he addressed to Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown just days before the Massachusetts special election. In Pierce's highly-esteemed opinion, Brown's cause was hopeless:
“Well, we’re almost here, aren’t we? The end of a long, arduous, four-month campaign for a Senate seat that you have approximately the same chance of filling as you did the pilot’s chair of the Starship Enterprise....The notion that Massachusetts would elect a Republican to fill the seat left vacant by Edward Kennedy was the property of people who buy interesting mushrooms in interesting places. You might as well expect the House of Windsor to be succeeded on the British throne by the Kardashian sisters.”
Nine days later, no doubt to Pierce's chagrin, Brown won by more than 100,000 votes -- 52% to 47%. Here's hoping Pierce found a new crystal ball under the tree this morning.
Runner-up was Chris Matthews, for his keen insight after President Obama's State of the Union address back in January: “You know, I forgot he was black tonight for an hour.” Whatever MSNBC is paying this man, he's worth every penny.
Next up was Associated Press writer Paul Haven, for a September 24 dispatch fretting that the Castro brothers were betraying the revolution: “Cuba’s communist leaders mapped out a brave new world of free enterprise on Friday....[The reforms] seem sure to create a society of haves and have-nots in a land that has spent half a century striving for an egalitarian utopia.”
It's one thing to blame Bush and Cheney for creating "a society of haves and have-nots," but Fidel and Raul Castro? Now that's some wacky analysis.
Then there's Bill Press, who's co-hosted shows on both CNN and MSNBC over the years. Press weighed in on the Juan Williams controversy by not just dismissing the idea that NPR has a liberal tilt, but by declaring the outfit part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: “I call NPR ‘National Pentagon Radio.’ They’re no more left wing than Fox News as far as I’m concerned. Look at the commentators they have on there, right? They’re all right-wing commentators. I couldn’t get in the door of NPR.” (If you don't believe me, here's the audio.)
These deep thinkers in the national media were more than matched by the Three Wise Men of Hollywood who topped the polling of our annual "Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award for Celebrity Vapidity." Rob Reiner took the top slot after he insightfully declared the Tea Party to be on par with the Nazi movement that installed Hitler in Germany in the 1930s:
“Hitler, by the way, never got more than 33 percent of the vote ever in Germany....He wasn’t a majority guy, but he was charismatic, and they were having bad economic times — just like we are now. People were out of work, they needed jobs, and a guy came along and rallied the troops. My fear is that the Tea Party gets a charismatic leader, because all they’re selling is fear and anger and that’s all Hitler sold: ‘I’m angry and I’m frightened and you should hate that guy over there.’”
Reiner's anti-Tea Party smear edged out left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore, who lamely attempted to exploit the Chilean and Haitian earthquakes to score a political point against Republicans:
“Chile had an earthquake this past week that was 500 times greater than the earthquake in Haiti. But here’s the big difference. In Chile, they have various — very serious regulations when it comes to building codes. So a thousand people died, sadly, but a thousand people died with a 500 times greater earthquake. And in Haiti, where there are no building codes, no regulations — a Republican’s paradise — a quarter of a million people died.”
Take a moment, if you wish, to contemplate the sheer stupidity of declaring Haiti "a Republican's paradise."
Rounding out Hollywood's Big Three, actor Richard Dreyfuss popped up on HLN's Joy Behar Show to explain how he was able to play Dick Cheney in Oliver Stone's W: "Every actor likes to play bad guys.... To play Dick Cheney, all I had to do was find my Dick Cheney. And you can find all the villainy in the world in your own heart, and that’s what an actor’s job is. I always say to kids, inside you is Hitler and Jesus. And you got to find the appropriate person and bring them out.”
Class acts and scholars, one and all.